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TECHNOLOGY REPORT - Paying Tech Talents to Drop Out of College

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Peter Thiel
Peter Thiel

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

What do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison have in common? They all made billions of dollars in technology. And they all left college. Now, a wealthy businessman is paying other technologically talented young people to follow that same path.

Peter Thiel is paying them to drop out or at least to "stop out" of higher education temporarily to work on their interests. He and his Thiel Foundation just announced the first group of what they call 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellows.

PETER THIEL: "We selected people on the basis of a combination of having demonstrated intense passion about science and technology and then having the drive to try to carry it forward in the years ahead."

There are twenty-four people to be exact, because a couple of projects involve more than one person.

One of the youngest is Laura Deming. At twelve she began researching ways to extend human life. Now, at seventeen, she has already graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Eighteen-year-old John Marbach just finished high school. He hopes to use Web tools to bring classrooms into the digital age. He plans to attend one semester of college before he begins his fellowship.

Each of the fellows will receive one hundred thousand dollars over two years to continue their research. They will also receive help from experts.

Peter Thiel has a lot of experience with technology start-up businesses. He helped create the electronic payment system PayPal. He was also one of the first investors in Facebook.

He himself is a graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Law School in California. But Mr. Thiel says college has changed.

PETER THIEL: "It's gotten a lot more expensive than when I attended school a quarter of a century ago. And so, if you look at how much college costs have gone up, you now have people graduating with a quarter million dollars worth of debt and they end up having to spend years or decades paying the debt off."

The Obama administration is pushing college. It says over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require more than a high school education. But Peter Thiel says many young people choose college for the wrong reasons.

PETER THIEL: "What I ended up doing, and what I think is still true of most of my peers and is true of most people today -- was simply to default into it. Talented, high school, what do you do? You go to college. Good in college, what do you do? You go to law school. Where education and higher education becomes almost this way for not thinking and avoiding thinking about what you're going to do with your life."

Mr. Thiel says the young people he is investing in are clear about what they want to do. At the very least, he says, they will gain experience to take back to school if that is what they decide to do.

More than four hundred people from twenty countries applied to the program. Later this year the Thiel Foundation plans to begin taking applications for the next group of fellows under the age of twenty.

And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms. Tell us what you think at www.unsv.com or on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.

网友的学习评论(6条):
作者:grace
where education and higher education becoms almost this way for not thinking and avoiding thinking about whar you're going to do with your life.
作者:jedyguo
There is two opposite side of this act, hard to define it is right or not?
作者:lvjiaying1984
There are the same qualities among the three most famous person who have gained a lot of money by technology and they all left school before they finished their supposed career in college. The reason why these three young men succeeded in gathering a lot of money is perhaps complex and difficult to understand, but one thing seems certain that all the three young men were nourished under the interests they possessed. The man whose name is not quite important is really a good man for paying for
作者:lvjiaying1984
the technologically talented young men to temporarily transfer from school, doing what interests them. Not every one can be selected into the group because it follows the curriculum that they selected people on a basis of combination of having demonstrated intense of passion about science and technology. It really cost a lot if you want to graduate from college since in every corner, from sleeping, dining, bathing and learning needs money. A lot of people who have get the loan with
作者:lvjiaying1984
the eligible policy have to pay off the money they loaned from the bank in many years. And in China, a lot of college students cannot afford the cost of education and the only thing they can do is to postpone the offering of the money. No one knows when they will have money which should be paid to the school. And what is strange, although the students have got a decent job with which they can earn a lot of money, is that they refuse the pay off the money they have loaned
作者:lvjiaying1984
when they are in college when you don't have enough money in which situation times are difficult.
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